Re's Guerney's 1944 review of VN's Gogol. In it, VN gives high praise to Guerney's translation of Dead Souls, not that Guerney would ever be one to praise or damn anyone who praised or praised or damned his work. Guerney was a singular character in Manhattan book(ish) circles, or anywhere he ventured. Besides his numerous other translations, such as Bunin for Knopf and Viking's Portable Russian Reader, he was the proprietor of the Blue Faun Bookshop, and I knew him well when he moved the shop to Third Avenue in the East 30s in the 1950s.. He labeled the shelves by subject matter. e. g. "Stool Pigeons", and put up a notice announcing "All Our Sleepers Have Upper Berths." He served as my mentor in Russian literature, and one day while he was expounding on the wonderful sound of the Russian language, I said, "But Mr. Guerney, there are other Slavic languages. What about Polish?"
"Polish! Have you ever listened to two Poles talking?"
"It sounds like a cow pissing on a flat rock!"